Redwood Creek Restoration at Muir Beach
ON May 3, 2014 the National Park Service and Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy held a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the completion of the restoration of Lower Redwood Creek at Muir Beach. This multi-year, landscape-scale coastal restoration project was designed to bring back the natural ecological functions of the creek, fresh water wetlands and intermittent tidal lagoon and dunes while maintaining robust public engagement with the area and better public access.
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Since 2009, NPS and Parks Conservancy staff worked together to implement the design, which also resulted in increased habitat for endangered coho salmon and threatened steelhead trout, constructed ponds for the California red-legged frog, decreased flooding on nearby roads and overall, re-created a more self-sustaining ecosystem. In the process, the creek channel was re-aligned, many non-native plants were removed, and nearly 105,000 native wetland and upland plants, grown at the Redwood Creek Nursery, were planted by school, community and corporate volunteer groups whose labor totaled about 3,000 hours/year.
Because the placement of the original parking lot acted as a dam to natural water flow, in the final phase of the restoration last fall, the beach was closed to visitors for 6 months while crews rotated the parking lot. As a result, not only have visitor amenities been enhanced and not one parking spot lost, but the flood plain was substantially increased from 50 to 450 feet thereby allowing a more natural flow of water through the area.
Marin Independent Journal: State takes Muir Beach off bad water quality list
The 46-acre project site had been the most disturbed area of the Redwood Creek Watershed which originates on Mt Tamalpais. Perhaps not as well known as it's neighbor Muir Woods, Muir Beach still sees an estimated 260,000 visitors annually, and is considered a local treasure. Now perhaps even more than ever.
Check out our podcasts about the project while it was underway: